May 11, 2021  
2015-2016 Catalog 
2015-2016 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Design, BA

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Department of Design, College of Fine and Performing Arts

62 credits


The Department of Design identifies design as the visual communication of ideas. The program utilizes a curriculum that emphasizes the process of problem solving and encourages students to make connections between culture and design, and their role as visual communicators. Students learn to combine personal expression and critical thinking as they create solutions that connect industry to an audience and themselves to the world.

Why Consider a Design Major?

Career opportunities are found in all segments of industry, both in the private and public sector. Western Design graduates go on to work in advertising agencies, design firms, in-house departments, paper companies, printing firms, as well as serving as private consultants in corporate identity, environmental graphic design, packaging, publication and web design. They work as Designers, Project and Production Managers, Web and Interactive Designers and Digital Image Makers.

 Contact Information

Design Department Chair
Elsi Vassdal-Ellis
Fine Arts 116

Major Information:
Fine Arts 116

 Sample Careers

Graphic Designer | Web Designer | Project Manager | Art Director | Digital Image Maker | Creative Director | Interactive Designer | UX/UI

 Major/Career Resources

How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

To declare a Design major, application is made with a portfolio of 12 personal works and a typographic hierarchy assignment. The portfolio will be reviewed by Design faculty and evaluated on the basis of a demonstrated understanding of the elements of visual communication, technical proficiency and originality. Application deadlines for the Design major are October 15 and January 31 for current Western students and January 31 for freshmen and transfer students planning to start in the Fall. Portfolios must be received by the deadline, not postmarked by the deadline.

Send portfolio to:

Design Review Committee
Western Washington University
Fine Arts Complex, Room 116
516 High Street
Bellingham, WA 98225-9068

Grade Requirements

Majors must maintain a 2.50 grade point average both overall and in design courses taken at Western. Students falling below the 2.50 average will be placed on probation; failure to bring the cumulative GPA up to 2.50 by the end of two subsequent quarters will result in removal from the major.

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.


Departmental Honors

In addition to the general requirements for all honors students, design major who wishes to graduate with honors must complete an honors senior project in design.

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